Our hearts sank a little when we arrived at hospital to hear that, once again, the haematology lab's equipment wasn't working so all blood samples were being courriered to another hospital for testing, which naturally takes longer. Rather than hang around on the ward after all the other obs were done, Steve had an early lunch and, afterwards, we went out for a walk in the sunshine.
Our ramble was cut short when Steve thought he might have dropped his keys, so we re-traced our steps, eyes on the ground, only to find them safe in the pocket of his jacket which he had left on the ward. Ah! One of those senior moments....However, the walk in the fresh air woke us up a bit, and I managed to do some work before we had the all clear for treatment. It didn't take long for the Velcade to be administered, and we were back home some five hours after leaving - not bad for a "short" chemo day.
On the way home, we discussed the young man being treated in the next bay to us, on the ward. Although only in his mid-thirties, he appeared to be in a much worse condition than Steve - coughing from time to time, taking pain relief, connected up to the oxygen supply, using a stick to help him stand up and a wheelchair to go any distance. It seems that he had been diagnosed with cancer in mid-August and the chemo wasn't working (so far, at least).
There was a long, lively discussion with the Occupational Therapy nurses about how to manage breathlessness by changing posture and sitting in front of a fan; aids to make life easier at home; bits of equipment kept appearing and the whole thing seemed very positive. We were both struck by how well he and his partner appeared to be dealing with such a very distressing situation (and mum and sister who arrived while all this was going on). It made us appreciate how lucky we are (relatively speaking). I only hope that if (or should I say when?) Steve is affected in that way, we are able to deal with it likewise.
Steve is now in the final chemo countdown, assuming his remaining treatment goes to plan. So, in the great tradition of news programmes, I thought I should end this blog with the sports results. If you don't want to know the scores as of today, look away now.
Cisplatin: 4 down, 2 to go
Velcade: 16 down, 9 to go
Cycles: 3 down, 1 in progress, 2 to go
Steve v Leo: 1st test stable; 2nd test starts
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